Investigators Seize $30m in Stolen Crypto from North Korea
Chainalysis has reported that US authorities seized roughly 10% of the cryptocurrency stolen by North Korean state hackers during the Ronin Network heist that occurred last month. Chainalysis also reported that a total of $30 million was seized during the raid, marking the first time ever that cryptocurrency originally stolen by North Korea was taken back. However, a totaly of $618 million was originally stolen. The attack occurred against the Ethereum sidechain Ronin Network, which was created and owned by Vietnamese blockchain game developer Sky Mavis. Although the price of digital currency has fluctuated since the attack, the original hack included two transactions of $592 million and $25.5 million.
The threat actors had obtained access to five of the nine private keys used to validate transactions on Ronin Network’s cross-chain bridge. Since the hackers possessed a majority of the keys, they initiated a complex laundering process that involved 12,000 crypto addresses. The group that is suspected to be behind the attack, state-sponsored Lazarus group, typically then transferred the stolen Ethereum funds to intermediary wallets and then to Tornado Cash. It then swapped it for Bitcoin to ensure that the money trail would be hard to follow, mixed it in batches, and deposited the funds in crypto-to-fiat services.